More care for seniors with Alexandra Hospital's upcoming clinic
Elderly care will be more accessible by December when Alexandra Hospital opens its first satellite clinic for geriatrics at Queenstown Polyclinic.
Visits to the clinic will be on a referral basis, so patients should first see a general practitioner (GP) at the polyclinic. It will charge lower fees than those at specialist clinics and provide one-stop geriatric assessment and management for conditions such as dementia, frailty and malnutrition, it was announced on Sunday.
The hospital said in a statement that about a third of people above the age of 60 in Singapore have had repeated falls.
The number of frail patients has also increased by 35.5 per cent, from 36,208 in 2010 to 49,092 in 2017.
Speaking at a community outreach event in Tanglin Halt on Sunday, Alexandra Hospital chief executive Jason Phua said it is important to ensure early comprehensive geriatric care to reduce downstream complications such as falls.
No-show rates by people referred by polyclinics and GPs to hospital clinics can be as high as 30 per cent, Dr Phua said.
Alexandra Hospital said it will coordinate with primary care and community partners to identify two to three more heartland locations for satellite clinics in the next three years, so as to make geriatric medicine and care more accessible.
The hospital is also set to open two smart wards next year, which will allow for the deployment of assistive devices, robotics and artificial intelligence.
The Land Transport Authority has given approval for a free hospital-to-hospital shuttle bus to ply a route between the National University Hospital (NUH) emergency department and Alexandra Hospital's 24/7 urgent care centre, from Mondays to Fridays.
The hospitals belong to the same healthcare cluster, and doctors shuttle between them.
Dr Phua also shared results of an Integrated General Hospital pilot care model, under which patients are cared for by a single care team with minimal transfers during their inpatient stay. The study, which started in June last year, showed positive outcomes. About a third of 8,424 patients have seen a reduction in appointments and visits to the hospital.
He said: "Our results show it is possible to achieve a healthcare system where healthcare providers, as one care team, revolve around the patient and her needs."